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Pakistan rejects Arshi Khan’s visa application to travel to Pak for Swayamvar Reality Show

According to news sources from Pakistan and a report on one of the News site, Arshi Khan who was supposed to attend the launch function of a reality show “Arshi Ka Swayamvar” on a popular Pakistani entertainment TV channel this week has been denied a visa by the Pakistan government to visit the country.

The tit-for-tat by the Pakistani government comes in response to the refusal by an extreme rightist political party in Mumbai – the Shiv Sena to allow Pakistani cricketers, artistes and singers to perform and play in India. Arshi Khan’s initial visa application which was made by the channel on her behalf was rejected outright, sources said. The channel has decided to appeal to the Director General of Immigration & Passports, Ministry of Interior, Pakistan.

Speaking to media persons in Mumbai, Arshi Khan confirmed the rejection of her visa and said, “Yes my visa application made on my behalf by the channel was rejected. I think it is a technical problem and the channel has decided to appeal to the Ministry of Interior in Pakistan and will also contact Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to ensure that the visa comes on time for the launch event. However, the utterances by certain politicians in India are not helping much. I wish certain politicians in Mumbai and the rest of the country would keep their mouths shut,” Arshi Khan told Reporter.

A fatwa was earlier issued against Arshi Khan by a Pakistani cleric and according to a written police complaint (CLICK HERE FOR COMPLAINT) submitted by Arshi Khan,  to several senior police officials in Mumbai, a man claiming or owing allegiance to the banned Hafiz Saeed-led Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) in Pakistan threatened the actress not to step on Pakistan soil for insulting Islam or risk losing her life. The caller who claimed to speak on behalf of Hafiz Saeed, said the leader had issued instructions to his followers and supporters in India and Pakistan to “teach the actress a strong lesson for insulting Islam”.

A Muslim cleric from a Madrasa on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border had issued a fatwa against Arshi Khan last week for posing nude for a Hollywood film director Lynn Baxter and for tweeting that she had sex with Pakistani cricketer Shahid Afridi. According to Arshi Khan who spoke to the reporter, she got several threatening, vulgar and abusive calls from across the border over the last five days after the fatwa was issued.

“Most of the callers were abusive and used very vulgar language, however on 31st October, I received 2-3 calls from a person claiming to be a member of the JuD who threatened me that I would be shot and killed the moment I stepped on Pakistan soil. I just disconnected the first call after a few seconds, but when the caller called again, I decided to complain to the police,” Arshi Khan told one of the News Site on phone. Arshi Khan said the same caller telephoned her 3-4 times on 31st October and 1st November.

Arshi Khan who is originally of Afghani-Pakistani descent is scheduled to visit Pakistan in two weeks’ time to participate in a swayamvar-like reality show, titled Arshi Ka Swayamvar where Arshi Khan will have to choose a groom from a group of suitors. Her father moved to India during the partition, and settled in Bhopal, but several other family members stayed back. She has many relatives and cousins in Karachi.

Speaking to one of the news site in Mumbai last month, Arshi Khan had said, “Yes I have been invited for a television reality show in Pakistan. Right now my passport has got expired and I have sent my passport for renewal. Besides we are in negotiations with the channel regarding dates of the show, as I have several Tamil and Telugu films lined up back to back. I have to juggle the dates of my films as well. Three south films are on the floor and I am living out of a suitcase, traveling every week to Chennai and Hyderabad,” Arshi Khan said.

Who is Hafiz Saeed?

Hafiz Muhammad Saeed is the chief or amir of Jama’at-ud-Da’wah, which operates mainly from Pakistan and has had sanctions placed against it as a terrorist organisation by the United Nations. He is an internationally designated terrorist even though he is very influential in certain religious groups in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The USA has placed a bounty on him for allegedly inciting Kashmiris in separatist activities but there have been protests (engineered by the JuD) in Pakistan against the US bounty. He has claimed that India will be forced to leave Kashmir just like US was forced to leave Afghanistan.

India considers Saeed one of its most wanted terrorists because of his alleged ties with Lashkar-e-Taiba and his involvement in attacks against India such as the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. Saeed is listed on the NIA Most Wanted list and India has banned his organization as a terrorist organization. The United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Russia and Australia have also banned LET. The United Nations also declared Jama’at-ud-Da’wah a terrorist organization in December 2008 and Hafiz Saeed a terrorist as its leader.

Hafiz Saeed states that he has no links with the Let and that India has neither evidence nor any real proof behind their allegations. Hafiz Saeed also blames India for the Peshawar Attack which resulted in 141 deaths and 124 injuries. Pakistani officials have alleged that Saeed has been helping with identification, rehabilitation and surrender of former militants. Saeed currently lives in Lahore, Pakistan in a fortified house, office and mosque.

Pakistan on Monday banned media coverage of militant groups like the Jamaat-ud-Dawa as part of a crackdown on terror, acknowledging for the first time that the Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed-led outfit was a wing of the Let.

Source : PR

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